Walk 2928 - printer friendly version
Amersham to Chorleywood via Chalfont St Giles Walk
Author - Peter Smyly
Length - 8.5 miles / 13.8 km
Ascent - 800 feet / 242 metres
Grade - easy/mod
Start - OS grid reference SU964981
Lat 51.6738500 + Long -0.6065800
Postcode HP6 5FG (approx. location only)
This is another Buckinghamshire walk that uses two different tube stations on the Metropolitan Line of the London Underground to start and end the walk. For long stretches, few or no other walkers are likely to be seen, just occasional locals out horse riding, jogging or walking their dogs. Paths are frequently muddy underfoot so suitable footwear should be worn if the walk is to be enjoyed rather than endured. The walk is in an area covered by many footpaths, bridleways, country lanes and roads and unless you have a GPS or similar, using a map and compass to enable careful attention to detail are basic requirements in following the route. The scenery frequently comprises vast open expanses of fields and hedgerows. Paths sometimes pass through woodland and you may spot the occasional deer, or more likely rabbits and/or squirrels. Although the route could be done as a linear one via Chalfont St Giles, I am suggesting here an additional section that takes in Jordans Youth Hostel and passes the nearby Quaker Meeting House, the route then returning to Chalfont St Giles before the final leg between there and Chorleywood. I have broken down the walk into three sections with the middle one being the optional detour. The optional section adds about 3 miles to the total distance.
Section one - Amersham to Chalfont St Giles
From Amersham station, follow the main road downhill to the left under the railway bridge and when a path appears on the right up through woodland, follow it and take the first left turning out of the wood which reveals a view beyond a sloping hillside looking down on Amersham Old Town. A diagonal path across a sloping field can also be seen to the left and the route will be heading that way a little later on. Turn right out of the wood and skirt it to reach a path leading down into Amersham Old Town where a surfaced path to the left of the church leads to the main road. Turn left here as far as the roundabout and then take the public footpath shortly after this point to the right which initially leads across a field and then through an underpass. Next, the route appears to lead invitingly onwards at valley level but for this walk, instead, follow the diagonal path heading gently uphill to the right. For the next few miles, follow the route ahead, mostly across fields with expansive views of surrounding countryside including a view back to Amersham Old Town overlooked by Parsonage Wood, which you passed through in the initial stage of the walk. On the approach to Upper Bottom Farm, the path is less clear but the general direction is and, once past the farm, public footpath signs indicate a right turn along a road and then a left one, now following a lane uphill. Go right when the road forks and then right again at the next fork. Now take a path across a field on the right, at the other side of which is a minor road. Crossing the road leads into Hodgemoor Woods with its many paths and tracks. Bear left and follow the route ahead. After a few hundred yards, exit the wood to the left to reach a bridleway with a fence on the left that meanders to the left. Bear right when a path appears on the right and this path leads you to a main road.
There are two options from here. If taking the direct route to Chorleywood via Chalfont St Giles, follow this road ahead to CSG and then skip the next section and conclude the walk with the final leg described below.
Section two - An optional detour from Chalfont St Giles to visit Jordans
Walk along the road to the left for a few minutes until a signed public footpath appears on the right. Go this way and this part of the route leads you across the golf course, except that the path is sharply defined by a mixture of trees, fences and hedgerows for the most part with just a few access points to the golf course. Passing the golf course, take a public footpath to the right and grazing cattle may be seen in a field to the left. After about half a mile, take a path to the left that leads towards Grove Farm. At this point, some careful navigation is required as the way to go next is not immediately obvious. You are looking for a path off to the right here. On reaching the end of the next field, follow the fence to the left to exit the field and reach a minor road. Turn right along this road and look out for the next turning off the road along another field to the right. This route option becomes clearer as a path as you progress, leading to a road. A left turn along the road downhill reveals the Quaker Meeting House among gardens on the left and another left turn along the next road (Leavers Lane) brings you to a minor road, also on the left, that leads uphill to the Youth Hostel which looks a bit like a giant elongated garden shed, all on one floor, but then Youth Hostels come in all shapes and sizes. A tree in the front garden has been sculpted to form a chair.
To continue the route, follow the lane leading to the hostel back down to the T junction. It is not recommended to follow Leavers Lane to the left as the road is narrow and there is not always space for pedestrians to comfortably get off the road when faced with occasional traffic. Instead, reverse the route as far as the lane near the farm and this time, leave the lane to follow a public footpath due east/north east to emerge on a road. Now follow the verge next to the road heading north to reach a path off to the right after the road forks. Turn right at the T junction of paths with the houses of Chalfont St Giles seen beyond fields on the left. At the next crossroads of paths bear right and left again at the next road which brings you back to Chalfont St Giles.
Section three - Chalfont St Giles to Chorleywood
This is not the most scenic section of today's walk but part of the Chiltern Way allows a safe passage that avoids walking along the busiest roads between the two places which could be dangerous for pedestrians. After leaving the parish church of St Giles behind - seen in retrospect - the route crosses the busy A413 before going along a narrow track in parallel to some back gardens. Turn left at a fork. The track emerges into the open to cross a few fields and pass through a section of woodland and two minor roads before entering what is named as Shrubs Wood on the map but the track itself follows across a field with woodland on the left and ahead. It enters the latter at Newland Gorse. Here it leads downhill on a muddy and potentially slippery slope. Turn right at the bottom and then left at the next path junction, Shire Lane leading to Old Shire Lane. As the woodland stretch comes to an end, the bridleway underfoot becomes a tarmac road and you can follow this road ahead most of the way via a residential area to Chorleywood station, passing the main high street under the railway arches and then turning right at the end to reach the station.